MTN’s sponsorship of the ‘Waliyas’

By Eskedar Kifle 

MTN SponsorshipAddis Ababa, Ethiopia - Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) held a sponsorship signing ceremony to publicize MTN’s second tier sponsorship of the Ethiopian National Football team, the Waliyas. The sponsorship deal is aimed at supporting the Waliyas for a period of one year, for a sum of 6 million birr, with an option for renewal.

“As MTN, we are pleased to partner with the Ethiopian Football Federation in the development of soccer in Ethiopia, which is a much loved sport in the country,” said Happy-Girl Buthelezi, Country Manager of MTN Ethiopia.

MTN has been the second tier sponsor for the Waliyas since last December, but had not had a formal signing ceremony with the EFF.

“MTN is passionate about making a positive and meaningful contribution in the lives of our customers and in all the communities we serve in. Our partnership with the EFF is one of the many ways we intend to do this in Ethiopia,” the Country Manager added.

Tewolde Gebru, Executive Member of the EFF and who was part of the signing ceremony, stated that the Ethiopian National team’s achievement in qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 in South Africa after 31 years, has enabled the Ethiopian Football Federation to acquire sponsorship agreements with globally renowned multinational companies for the first time in the history of Ethiopian football. “The EFF is proud to partner with MTN, one of the prominent sponsors and supporters of football in Africa. It is a memorable moment for Ethiopians and we are glad that MTN stands with us to celebrate the journey,” he also stated.

Currently, Bedele holds first tier sponsorship for the Waliyas, but MTN stated that it plans to become the first tier sponsor in the future. “We are never second place; I am sure that we will become the main sponsor of the Waliyas,” stated Happy-Girl.

MTN, working with the EFF, became engaged in Ethiopian football in December 2012 with its “Celebrate 31 on 831” SMS campaign which aimed at celebrating Ethiopia’s recent football successes.